Most of the discussion of prayer I had ever heard centered on whether God answers prayer and how we can know that he does. But during the past decade I have come to believe that prayer is not a matter of my calling in an attempt to get God's attention, but of my finally listening to the call of God, which has been constant, patient, and insistent in my inner being. In my relationship to God, I am not the seeker, the initiator, the one who loves more greatly. In prayer, as in the whole salvation story unfolded in Scripture, God is reaching out to me, speaking to me, and it is up to me to be polite enough to pay attention. When I do have something to say to God, I am rendering a response to the divine initiative. So the questions of whether or not and how God answers prayer now seem to me bogus questions. The big question is do I answer, do I respond, to an invitation that is always open.